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November 28, 2019
People

Pay of Medical Specialists lags behind Australia

Our research reveals a widened cross-Tasman pay gap for Medical Specialists. Work commissioned by the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) has revealed that Australian Specialists are receiving much higher salaries than those in New Zealand.

While it was known previously that salaries in New Zealand lagged behind those of Australia, our research shows the gap has grown and is now so wide that the top salary step in New Zealand is lower than the step one salary in any of the Australian states examined.

The pay gap is now so wide that the top salary step in New Zealand is lower than the step one salary in any of the states examined

The project looked at details of employment agreements from Western Australia, Queensland, South Australia, New South Wales, and Victoria. These were compared to the provisions of the current agreement in New Zealand. We found that on average, Medical Specialist salaries in New Zealand are less than 60 percent of those paid to Australian Medical Specialists.

On average, Medical specialist salaries in New Zealand are less than 60 percent of Australian Medical Specialists

Not only are salaries lower but they increase more slowly. In New Zealand Specialists must work 15 years to achieve the top salary, compared to between eight and twelve years in Australia.

After 15 years the salary of a New Zealand Medical Specialist is less than that at step one in Australia

Because Medical Specialists in New Zealand and Australia share a training system, and most of the Specialist Colleges, qualifications gained in one country are recognised in the other. This together with immigration controls which allow residents to work in either country mean that the labour market for Medical Specialists is essentially shared across New Zealand and Australia.

The labour market for Medical specialists is essentially shared across New Zealand and Australia

Not only do we compete for locally trained staff, but also to attract specialists from overseas to work in our hospitals. Given the pay disparity it seems unlikely that Specialists considering a move from overseas would view New Zealand as a viable alternative to Australia. For Specialists in New Zealand, the much higher pay available in Australia must be attractive.

To learn more you can access the full report, or visit the website of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists